Travis Earl Watkins

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Travis Earl Watkins

Birthplace: Waldo, Arkansas, United States
Death: September 03, 1950 (29) (KIA)
Place of Burial: Gladewater, Upshur, Texas, United States
Managed by: Shirley Marie Caulk
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About Travis Earl Watkins

The President of the United States of America, in the name of Congress, takes pride in presenting the Medal of Honor (Posthumously) to Master Sergeant Travis Earl Watkins (ASN: RA-6295287), United States Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty while serving with Company H, 9th Infantry Regiment, 2d Infantry Division, in action against enemy aggressor forces at Yongsan, Korea, from 31 August to 3 September 1950. When an overwhelming enemy force broke through and isolated 30 men of his unit, Master Sergeant Watkins took command, established a perimeter defense and directed action which repelled continuous, fanatical enemy assaults. With his group completely surrounded and cut off, he moved from foxhole to foxhole exposing himself to enemy fire, giving instructions and offering encouragement to his men. Later when the need for ammunition and grenades became critical he shot two enemy soldiers 50 yards outside the perimeter and went out alone for their ammunition and weapons. As he picked up their weapons he was attacked by three others and wounded. Returning their fire he killed all three and gathering up the weapons of the five enemy dead returned to his amazed comrades. During a later assault, six enemy soldiers gained a defiladed spot and began to throw grenades into the perimeter making it untenable. Realizing the desperate situation and disregarding his wound he rose from his foxhole to engage them with rifle fire. Although immediately hit by a burst from an enemy machinegun he continued to fire until he had killed the grenade throwers. With this threat eliminated he collapsed and despite being paralyzed from the waist down, encouraged his men to hold on. He refused all food, saving it for his comrades, and when it became apparent that help would not arrive in time to hold the position ordered his men to escape to friendly lines. Refusing evacuation as his hopeless condition would burden his comrades, he remained in his position and cheerfully wished them luck. Through his aggressive leadership and intrepid actions, this small force destroyed nearly 500 of the enemy before abandoning their position. Master Sergeant Watkins' sustained personal bravery and noble self-sacrifice reflect the highest glory upon himself and is in keeping with the esteemed traditions of the U.S. Army.

General Orders: Department of the Army, General Orders No. 9 (February 16, 1951)

Action Date: August 31 - September 3, 1950

Service: Army

Rank: Master Sergeant

Company: Company H

Battalion: 2d Battalion

Regiment: 9th Infantry Regiment

Division: 2d Infantry Division

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Travis Earl Watkins's Timeline

September 5, 1920
Waldo, Arkansas, United States
September 3, 1950
Age 29
Gladewater, Upshur, Texas, United States